The population in Texas has an obiously high proportion of Hispanics and Latinos. Close proximity to the border, and a long history of migration makes some communities in the state feel more a part of Mexico than the US at times.
The diversity in Texas reaches further, though, and is a part of life in cities throughout the state. From Fort Bend County to Dallas, the ethnic and linguistic diversity is present.
A large contibutor to this diversity is immigration. As of 2015, 4.7 million immigrants made up 17 percent of the state's population. The top country of origin for immigrants is Mexico, with 55.1 percent of immigrants. However, the second country is not even in Latin or Central America. Five percent of immigrants in Texas are from India. Followed by El Salvador (4.3 percent), Vietnam (3.7 percent), and China (2.3 percent).
These higher immigration rates have a direct impact on language spoken at home.
According to the 2009-2013 American Housing survey, of the nearly 24 million people in Texas five years or older, 65 percent speak only English at home. The other 35 percent speak more than 160 languages combined.
35 percent of Texans speak a language other than English at home.
The share of Asian immigrants to Texas has more than doubled, from 17.3 percent in 2005 to 40.4 percent in 2013, which helps explain the high numbers of Vietnamese and Chinese speakers.
What is really important about these numbers is their distribution. Asian migrants have not dispersed across the state in equal numbers; they've largely settled in the state’s big metropolitan areas, like Harris, Dallas, Tarrant and Travis counties. Dallas is the 10th most diverse county in the country.
In Fort Bend County, which has been called the most ethnically diverse county in America, the school district is charged with educating children who speak up to 100 different languages at home. Only 17 percent of the Fort Bend Independent School District’s student population is white. Asians and Middle Eastern students make up a quarter of the student population; of the remaining students, half are black and half are Hispanic. 17.5 percent of the county’s population is Asian—107,000 people. Interestingly, Fort Bend county is also the wealthiest county in the state, with a median household income of $95,389.
The most common foreign languages in Fort Bend County are Spanish (110,683 speakers), Chinese (24,334 speakers), and Urdu (14,015 speakers). Compared to other places, Fort Bend County has an impressive number of Urdu speakers, as well as Gujarati speakers (6,510), and Hindi speakers (10,205).
Some other notable population concentrations for language and diversity in Texas:
We can’t help wondering who will the citizens among them vote for - Ted Cruz or Beto O’Rourke? It will depend who can reach out to them with a message that resonates.